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Inside Twitter’s new Profile Designs

Wednesday - September 26th, 2012

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

Inside Twitter’s new Profile Designs

Twitter has become a favorite among everyone from novice users to social media gurus. Just recently, the developers have designed a new interface that includes additional header images to the profiles. These headers are similarly designed to that of Google+ and Facebook. Twitter has also updated apps for iPad, Android and iOS devices for using those header images. The feature was added as a photo that is somewhat reminiscent of header photos from other social media sites.

Purpose

The idea behind the new photo header is to make it more personal and provide the capability to incorporate more branding. Because Twitter is often connected to other major social media sites that display photos, it is thought to be a cohesive device designed to strengthen those connections.

This aspect is similar to Facebook photos from timelines being displayed into prominent mobile apps with photo bars. This new layout serves to make the page resemble a real landing webpage rather than a textual placeholder.

New tweets are every bit as prominent and the sidebar that includes the “Tweet to” feature box is also very convenient.

Parameters

Twitter offers two parameters for the header images. They cannot be over 5MB, which is more than sufficient. Additionally, they need to be 1,252 × 626 pixels. This over-sized aspect is most likely Twitter’s attempt at making it possible for high resolution display.

However, the text and avatar image can be a bit awkward. It makes sense to place it prominently in the front. However, now that it is no longer in the upper left corner, it could look a bit odd against the text.

There are some Facebook pages that have similar issues with avatars that can cut into the header, making them look unwieldy. That is just an issue to consider prior to choosing a photo.

Devices

The iPad seems to have really adapted well to the new update. The stacking, sliding panels from the older iPad app are no longer in use. Expanding a Tweet is easily accomplished by tapping. At that point, the Tweet will open wider within the stream. If there is an attachment, such as a photo, link or video, tapping again will open into the full screen.

Another great feature of the update is that it is much easier to click through to articles on Twitter, which includes the capability to view full pages without needing to open them again. This can save time, not to mention annoyance.

Counterpoints

For some purposes, the header could be less sensible. For example, more value might be had for content creators and users without the distraction of a photo. Some professionals have found the new header to get in the way of dissemination efforts. They also view it as an attempt to simply copy other social media platforms.

The extra kilobytes are also seen to possibly lessen user experience and interaction after viewing the profile page. There is no doubt that images could play a part in user decisions to participate.

The header also hides some of the tweets, which marketers and others who like to stay on top of things might not appreciate. In addition, the header can also more easily obfuscate site links.

Whether or not users respond favorably to the new Twitter header will be largely dependent upon how and why they use the social media platform. Professionals who are trying to effectively disseminate information may not find it useful. However, average every day users may find that it personalizes the Twitter experience.

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